Talofa Lava [Hello]

This is my first visit to Samoa as Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

It is a great pleasure to be here.

My husband was in the Royal Australian Navy for many years and knows the Pacific well. He told me of its beauty but until I came to see it myself I didn’t realise just what a beautiful place the Pacific is.

Can I start by congratulating the Government of Samoa for the work it has done on this road renovation on time and on budget.

Australia is very proud to have supported this development.

As you know, one of our priorities in working with the Government of Samoa is to make it easier for Samoans, and visitors to Samoa, to do business with one another, and to enjoy all that Samoa has to offer.

To make it easier and quicker to get around: between the airport and town, to get to the inter-island ferry, to get to and from work quickly.

And, importantly, to make it safer to get around, for everyone.

That’s exactly what well-designed projects such as this one deliver.

All these things are good in themselves, but they also contribute to Samoa’s economy, Samoan people and Government, with the financial means to build a prosperous and healthy future.

Australia’s support for this project is part of our Samoa-wide commitment to economic growth through better infrastructure.

Australia’s wish for Samoa, like your wish Prime Minister for your country, is that this generation can put in place the foundation on which future generations will prosper.

That’s why we were so pleased to assist the Government of Samoa and the World Bank in building more resilient infrastructure, which can better withstand natural disasters.

In 2014, the Australian Government provided $20 million towards Samoan infrastructure, including $13 million to support the development and climate resilience of Samoa’s national road network.

It is good to see first-hand the results from our commitment here today.

In concluding, I would like to acknowledge our partnership with the World Bank on the delivery of this project.

Australia is pleased to work with the Government of Samoa and the World Bank to deliver these practical improvements that will give Samoa long-term benefits.

Thank you.

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